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2023 Trends – We are in an ever-evolving time!

How did we already get to Q2 (2023)? 

Each year, Wunderman Thompson (the ‘old’ J. Walter Thompson organization) publishes a list of trends that will impact us for the coming year as well as for the foreseeable future.  The way we engage with people and ‘things’ has changed substantially over the past few years.  The trends we are seeing – recent and emerging trends – really reflect this.  While I wrote about some new terms we need to know in an earlier Blog (see, these trends bring many of the terms (and more) to life! 

Here are the categories - and a couple of the trends that you might find of interest. 

1.  Culture

  • NFT membership – NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are unique cryptographic tokens that exist on a blockchain and cannot be replicated.  NFTs can represent digital or real-world items like artwork and real estate.  They have value because they are one-of-a-kind. 
  • Environmentally-minded video games – the video game category continues to grow, but games are becoming more friendly to our goal of saving the planet. 

2.  Tech & Metaverse (Metaverse is a newly added subcategory this year)

  • Digital brands – many are working at paying it ‘forward’ to non-digital causes (an example is dollars for Ukraine from Epic Games and Xbox).
  • Techcessibility – organizations are making sure people with disabilities can access technology. 

3.  Travel & Hospitality

  • Travel for remote workers – employees who work remotely still need to travel/get away.  With ‘workations’ being more common, coworking spaces in common travel destination locations are offering new amenities including a shared kitchen and working spaces alongside a pool. 
  • Absurdity Stays (example – staying in a floating avocado in Chile) – the idea for hospitality organizations is to attract tourists by offering something out of the ordinary. 

4.  Brands & Marketing

  • Brands are encouraging people of all ages to play.  A prime example is McDonald’s offering Happy Meals for adults (started in October, 2022). 
  • Web3 Brands – closely tied to NFTs as well; a company can drop deals through multiple on-line platforms that tie only to their loyal customers. 

5.  Food & Drink

  • Zero-Proof Lifestyles – there is a rising sober generation; as a result, there are growing N-A (non-alcohol) options.
  • ‘Intrepid Dining’ – diners are embracing culinary experiences that offer inventive menus (your entrée cooked over lava rocks), theatrical preparation and extreme locations.

6.  Beauty

  • Circadian Skincare – there are now skin products that deliver ingredients in a pre-programmed sequence.  (This is an extension of what we already know of as time-released medications.) 

7.  Retail & Commerce

  • Crisis Retail – brands are stepping up (freezing or reducing prices) to help their most vulnerable customers. 
  • Twilight Stores – these were dark stores that ONLY prepared and delivered products during the pandemic that are coming back as hybrid locations (not full service, but offering products and services for special occasions or reasons).

8.  Luxury

  • Comfort First Class – during the pandemic, many turned to comfort food . . . . . this is now a staple in many places including Delta First Class (and many fine-dining restaurants, etc.).
  • Wellness Guilds – these are dedicated spaces for social, mental and physical wellbeing.  They include what is considered to be a critical part of self-care – a renewed focus on human connection. 

9.  Health

  • Cultural Prescriptions – physicians are prescribing cultural visits to museums, galleries and other venues to help patients manage their mental wellbeing. 
  • Joy Workouts – the pandemic triggered a 25% increase in anxiety and depression (worldwide).  Joy workouts include exercises such as ‘bounce’, ‘reach’, ‘sway’, ‘celebrate’ (simulates tossing confetti), and ‘jump for joy’. 

10.  Work (this replaced Finance from last year) 

  • Virtual CEOs – AI has allowed many tasks to be done without humans.  Some senior roles are starting to be filled with virtual employees.  (This is a trend that will continue to evolve regardless of government intervention.) 

See to get the details. 

The number of employers linked to each of these categories are growing - and will continue to do so.  (We look forward to doing search work in one or more of these areas!)  

Welcome to the ever-evolving future!